Solar adoption is growing across the Sunshine State at an impressive clip. This isn’t surprising given solar’s recent dramatic drop in price and Floridians’ desire to take control of where our energy comes from. A new report by the Solar Foundation finds the number of solar companies in the state now stands near 400.
But this quick expansion has a downside. As with any rapidly growing industry, disreputable or unqualified companies are springing up to take advantage of eager but ill-informed customers. It is important to understand how prospective solar customers can protect themselves. Below are suggestions to ensure you have a good experience going solar.
Get multiple bids Don’t just opt for the first solar company that contacts you. Shop around. This will allow you to compare different installers’ pricing and customer service operations.
Check references The installer you select should be able to provide you with multiple examples of work the company has done with satisfied customers. You should look for references whose project was similar (e.g. roof type, system size) to yours. Keep in mind, if the reference is someone directed to you by the installer, it is likely they will provide a positive review. Also check with the Better Business Bureau and sites like Yelp and Angie’s List as well.
Carefully review the terms of the deal This can be the trickiest part of going solar. It is important you understand the full details of your contract. Important questions to ask include who owns the system and what parts of the system are warrantied.
It is important that as more and more Floridians are going solar, the community of solar supporters grows along with it. FL SUN works with communities to educate them about solar technology and the process of going solar. Our goal is to create an informed market where solar customers are protected and the market continues to grow. Sign up for the FL SUN listserv to connect with solar homeowners and prospective homeowners. This is a great forum to get your questions about solar answered.
Check out these resources below if you would like more information about working with a qualified solar company.
- IREC Solar Consumer Checklist: http://www.irecusa.org/consumer-protection
- Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation license database: https://www.myfloridalicense.com/wl11.asp?mode=0&SID=
- Florida Solar Energy Industries Association: https://www.flaseia.org
- Florida Solar Energy Center: http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en
- Florida Renewable Energy Association: http://www.cleanenergyflorida.org